Sometimes good enough is enough
There’s a commercial for a brand I can’t quite remember that uses the slogan, “Sometimes enough is not enough.” The one commercial in particular I remember is of a doctor — who is clearly incompetent — meeting with a patient.
“Nervous?” the doctor asks, “Yeah, me too. We’ll figure it out.”
The commercial is a funny reminder that yes, enough sometimes isn’t enough. But this mantra holds true for extreme situations. Most of us aren’t doctors or astronauts or crane operators where our utmost attention is spent perfecting our craft.
I’d argue enough is enough, even more so, settling for good enough is better than seeking perfection.
There’s a perfect parent out there somewhere.
He or she spends their day orchestrating the perfect day for their two perfect children. Shuttling them to and from school and extracurricular activities. Lunches packed with perfectly balanced meals. The house is impeccably clean and tidy. Everything is perfect and everyone is happy.
Everyone, that is, except for the perfect parent.
I’m a parent, and I find this analogy is good enough to illustrate my point. Most parents are good parents. They provide for their kids but are sure not to expend all of their energy. They save some for themselves. The perfect parent lifestyle is not sustainable.
The point I’m making here is if we go through life seeking perfection, we’ll never find it. We’ll waste vast amounts of time and effort for what, minor gains?
My friend has a saying: Don’t let perfect get in the way of progress.
I 100% agree.
Let it go
Have you ever read the words of a perfect author? No, you haven’t. Because those words are stuck in draft titled “draft_draft_FINALDRAFT (47)_final_rev11.docx”
The perfect painting has never been painted. The perfect story has never been told. The perfect meal has never been served. Why? Because all of the great artists, writers, and chefs know when it is time to put their work into the world.
We have to learn to let things go and move on.
Perfection inhibits progress. Whether it’s a perfect solution, perfect product, or perfect life, find what’s good and roll with it.
Choose good over perfect
What does this look like from a practical standpoint? I’ll use a recent example in my life.
About a year and a half ago I was a tall, lanky, and a tad flabby dude who wanted to get in shape. I kept talking myself out of it because I didn’t have a fitness routine or any equipment or extra time for that matter.
I didn’t work out because I didn’t have a perfect way to do so.
Then one day it hit me. “Drop to the floor and do 10 push-ups,” I thought. And so I did. The next day it was the same thing. For a week I did pushups, slowly increasing how many I could do each day.
Bored with this routine, I threw in a variety of exercises and found various bodyweight workout videos on YouTube. Months later I bought 20-pound and 30-pound weights. A month after that I bought a bench.
Today, nearly 18 months after those first 10 push-ups, I have a solid workout routine that I follow 6 days a week. I eat better, I feel stronger, I sleep soundly. And I still don’t have a perfect routine, just a couple weights and a commitment to getting better every day.
I chose good over perfect. I made progress.
Go be good enough
Stop waiting for, chasing after, or seeking perfection. It’s hindering your progress.
Sometimes we use perfection as an excuse because we are afraid to commit ourselves. Perfection becomes a crutch. Stop.
Just be good enough and you’ll be fine.